Tag Archives: funding

Work with an artist on a Museums at Nightclub!

It’s been a busy summer of evaluation, looking in detail at responses to the Museums at Night festival from participating venues and the public.

We have consistently received feedback from venues that have taken part in the Connect10 competition (and those that haven’t) that they would value more opportunities to work with artists, and to connect with new audiences through artist-led events.

And we’ve found an interesting way to offer just that opportunity…

Culture24 is seeking expressions of interest from all types of arts and heritage venues in a new project called Museums at Nightclub. Based on the successful festival template of after-hours events with an audience development objective, this new initiative springs from our evaluation of the Connect10 project.

A silent disco dancefloor

Young people flock to the dancefloor at MOSI (c) Chris Foster

The Museums at Nightclub will be an artist-led, touring event series produced by a consortium of venues in conjunction with Culture24, taking place in areas with low engagement in the arts. It will feature artists who specialise in participatory arts events, and who have worked on the Connect10 project in previous years.

We are developing a proposal to submit to Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Programme involving a partnership with the participating venues.

Venues from anywhere in England may express an interest but preference will be given to those identified by the Taking Part Survey (2008 – 2010) as being in the 118 local authority areas in the country with the lowest level of engagement in the arts.

Would this work for your organisation? Find out more: take a look at the Taking Part Survey list to check your local authority’s status and download our 3 page information pack about the Museums at Nightclub project, schedules and finance.

We want this stage of the project to be developed in partnership with the participating venues, so please do come to us with your ideas and suggestions!

If you have any questions or just want to talk through some ideas, please contact: Nick Stockman (01273 623279, nick@culture24.org.uk) or Rosie Clarke (01273 623336, rosie@culture24.org.uk).

Final call to get your after-hours events on sale in Boots and WHSmith!

If you took part in Museums at Night, regularly run after-hours events, or are simply interested in generating income for your organisation, this is your last chance to join Culture24’s Activity Superstore partnership promoting cultural gift experiences in museums, galleries and heritage sites.

Four boxes will be sold on the high street from the beginning of September in shops such as Boots and WHSmith.


logos 2

 

The Museum Lates box is dedicated to providing two adults with an enchanting, insightful evening in a museum or gallery. This could be anything from an in-depth tour of an exhibition, a talk or access to a workshop. This is a fantastic way for you to attract new audiences and generate income.

A number of brilliantly diverse venues are already on board, including the Art Fund Museum of the Year, Yorkshire Sculpture Park; the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings; and the Museum of Carpet.

These boxes are most commonly brought as Christmas presents, so it is vital for you to get involved as soon as possible.

Act S Lates Box

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is Activity Superstore?

Activity Superstore provides a range of gift experiences, sold in attractive gift boxes in high street stores. The boxes contain a booklet and a code that customers can use to book their experience on the Activity Superstore website. Examples of boxes that are already being sold are Traditional Afternoon Tea for Two, Ferrari Driving, Two Night Camping Experience and Vineyard Tour and Tasting for Two.

2014-Salamander Box-ForgottenSkills

What will venues gain from being involved?

It is a fantastic way to attract new audiences and gain revenue from your events. The whole project is also a really exciting way of attracting individuals who might not often chose to visit museums and galleries. With exposure in several high street outlets such as WHSmith and Boots, Activity Superstore is a great opportunity to get your name and your brand out there in front of high street consumers.

What does your venue need to do?

For each box that you choose to be involved in, you need to offer four or more activities between January 2015 and December 2015. You can either offer four or more of the same event, or four or more different events; it is totally up to you.

What about events that are already open to the public?

These are fine. If you are including events that are already planned, you could perhaps include some special element like a cup of tea and cake in your café, a voucher for your gift shop, or a special welcome from a curator or guide.

How do box sales and event bookings work?

Each will be sold in shops: customers will choose one experience from a range of venues throughout the UK.

Each time the box is bought and two adults visit your late event, you will invoice Activity Superstore for a share of the money.

Activity Superstore’s experienced team take care of the bookings, and will make the logistics as hassle-free and profitable for you as they can.

2014-Salamander Box-Inside Art & Design

What other boxes are available?

  • Inside Art and Design – anything art/design related, such as an in-depth curators tour/talk (2 adults).
  • Forgotten Skills and Traditions – anything history-based, for example workshops about traditional crafts or activities (1 adult).
  • Curious & Creative Kids – anything for under-12s e.g. children’s crafts/activities (a family of up to 1 adult and 3 children – doesn’t need to be for this many people so long as we know).

Any other questions?

If you are interested in taking part or have any other questions about the boxes and how it all works, please contact Culture24’s Rina Lakhani on 01273 623357 or email rina@culture24.org.uk

We look forward to working with you and helping you to make money and attract new visitors.

Attract new visitors and generate income with Culture24’s Activity Superstore partnership

I’m cross-posting this information here because if you’re reading the Museums at Night blog, you’re probably interested in attracting new audiences and generating income for your museum, gallery or heritage site – and Culture24’s new partnership may well be relevant to you!

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Culture24 is collaborating with the UK’s leading gift experience company, Activity Superstore, to create an innovative and unique range of science, arts and history-themed experience gifts for Christmas 2014.

This is a fantastic opportunity for museums, galleries, historic houses, science centres and any other venues within the Culture24 network to access new markets and promote their offer to a wider audience.

The new range of experience gift packages will be sold in major high street retailers as well as online. Each gift will be packaged in a box and include a voucher to be used in the next year (i.e. 2015) and be priced between £20-£100 dependent upon the experience.

Two colourful printed cardboard boxes

Activity Superstore gift experience boxes

The new range will be aimed at families, adults and young adults and feature cultural experiences such as curator tours, behind the scenes access, talks, workshops and other activities that offer added value. They will cover subject areas such as science, history, archaeology, art and literature and natural history.

The proposed new gift experience packages:

Museums at Night
After-hours in the nation’s museums, galleries and historic houses can be the most magical of all – when the lights are dimmed, the crowds are gone and the venue does something different. Choose from an eclectic mix of evening openings featuring music, art, science, drama, poetry and more, with a glass of fizz or a cocktail to add sparkle to your evening. Over-18s only.

Family Night in the Museum
Ever wondered what really happens when they lock museum and gallery doors at night? Pack those torches, sleeping bags and pyjamas and choose one of our amazing venues for a night you won’t forget in a hurry. Whether the sleepover companions are dinosaurs or suits of armour, Egyptian mummies or priceless works of art, there will be special family activities to keep everyone busy until lights out.

Live Science
Watch a live science demo, meet a scientist, get stuck in to hands-on science activities or take a peek behind-the-scenes in a range of amazing science-focussed venues, from historic science heritage sites and museums to cutting edge technology centres. This gift will delight science-lovers of all ages.

The Night Sky
Turn your gaze to the heavens and discover the secrets of the stars with this astronomy-themed family gift. Settle down to an awe-inspiring planetarium show or wrap up warm and head for the great outdoors to scan the night skies with an astronomy expert.

Lost Traditions
Traditional arts and crafts are thriving, if only you know where to look. This gift gives two people the chance to try out one of a wonderful mixture of workshops or taster sessions from weaving, quilting, or crochet to milling, calligraphy, pottery and more, all taking place in museums, galleries and historic houses.

Inside Design
Packed with expert tours of museum collections featuring design and fashion classics, or of buildings that are architectural gems, this gift is perfect for anyone with an eye for style. Curators, artists and designers lead special tours of some of the country’s most stylish collections, interiors and buildings, sharing their expert knowledge and love of their subjects.

Family Fun: Hands on Discovery
Know any youngsters who love discovering and finding out new things? Whether they’re into dinosaurs, dragons or the natural world; knights, princesses or castles; painting or making; stories or dressing-up, these hands-on family activities in museums, galleries, heritage sites and science centres will delight and inspire the under-12s.

Tales of the Horrible
Blood and guts abound in the true-life tales of derring-do, murder and mayhem through history that our nation’s museums, galleries and historic houses tell. Curator’s tours and storytelling sessions will bring our often grisly, gruesome history to life. Not for the faint-hearted or under-5s.

Inside Art
Discover art alongside the expert eye of an artist or curator. From old masters to the latest contemporary installations these special art-themed tours will bring collections to life. The perfect gift for art-lovers or for anyone keen to find out more about the amazing artworks in one of a range of galleries and museums.

Wheels, wings and water (working title!)
If you love planes, trains and automobiles, engines and industrial heritage, then this is the gift for you. Join a curator or expert for a behind-the-scenes or hands-on tour of some of the UK’s most fascinating museums and heritage sites and to take a close-up look at some marvels of engineering.

Want to find out more or talk to someone?

If you have any questions about the partnership, what’s involved, or want to discuss  taking part, please email Culture24 Listings Co-ordinator Richard Austin: richardaustin@culture24.org.uk or phone him on 01273 623357.

You can also download the Activity Superstore application form to register your interest now in this exciting new partnership opportunity.

Can a small venue take part in the Connect10 competition?

A man clinging on to the column of a building, with a streak of glowing neon

Connect10 artist Alex Hartley shinning up the columns at the Bank of England – how might he engage with your venue’s architecture? (c) Alex Hartley

A very small museum recently got in touch to ask whether they had any hope of taking part in the Connect10 competition to win an artist for their Museums at Night event. My response was a resounding “Yes!”

Take a look at the list of Connect10 artists available for Museums at Night 2014: we encourage venues of all sizes to think whether there might be a connection between one of the artists and your venue, collections or location. The artists’ ideas are very approximate and are intended to give you some background about the sort of things that inspire them and the way they like to work.

Going outside

Events don’t have to take place inside your building! Susan Forsyth’s Zusammen choir procession around the streets of Rochdale was a great example of community outreach, touring around significant places from the town’s history, pausing by sites of interest and ending up outside the Rochdale Pioneers Museum, before inviting everyone into the historic church across the street for tea and biscuits.

Size is no object when it comes to attracting votes

A man holding a sign with his name on in a library, with a t shirt hanging up behind him

One of the campaigners Connect10 artist Simon Roberts recorded at the Working Class Movement Library’s Museums at Night event in 2012 (c) Simon Roberts

Connect10 artists have been won by small venues in the past, for example, the Working Class Movement Library in Salford, which incidentally attracted the largest number of votes ever counted in the whole competition!

Internal marketing

However, it’s important that you’re aware that being part of Connect10 takes up a considerable amount of staff time, in reaching out to new audiences for votes during the competition stage, planning the event in collaboration with your artist if you win, maximising the amount of publicity you get and ensuring everything is in place for a successful event on the night. Talk with your team of staff and volunteers to see if they’re enthusiastic about the possibilities, or not.

Getting stakeholders on board

It could also be helpful to talk with other local arts or heritage venues, your Museum Development Officer, or your local communications team if you’re a council-run venue, to get any key stakeholders on board.

Joint bids

If you think your organisation would be taking on too much by applying for a Connect10 artist on your own, you might like to consider working together with another local organisation on a joint bid.

Connect10 artists and winning venues shared their experiences here – these presentations may be helpful to have a look at as they share the challenges and successes encountered by people involved in the competition in previous years.

We’ve put together this page with all the Connect10 links and helpful resources in one place.

Nick and I are always happy to have a chat on the phone with you, if that would be useful – we’re here to help! The direct line is 01273 623336.

Finally, if you’re keen to go ahead and apply to win a top Connect10 artist and a £2000 bursary for your Museums at Night event, here’s the 2 page entry form you’ll need to fill in by 5pm on Friday 22 November.

How to work together and form a Museums at Night cluster

As part of our Museums at Night briefing sessions, which Nick and I held in London, Birmingham and Bradford (and will also be bringing to Wrexham and Cardiff next week), we invited experts who had run Museums at Night clusters to share their experiences and recommendations.

A family group writing at a table, guided by an explorer

Egyptian Explorers at Blackburn Museum, part of the Pennine Lancashire cluster of Museums at Night activity (c) Bob Singleton, Pixel

Heritage and Audience Development Consultant Laura Crossley shared her recommendations for getting local heritage organisations to work together to plan and market a joint programme of Museums at Night events, using three contrasting case studies from the Norfolk area.

Why does Laura value clusters so much? In her own words,

Clusters are a fantastic way to:

  • Create something that’s more than the sum of its parts. Even very small events become something big when combined with other events and marketed as a complete visitor offer.
  • Attract lots of visitors. People are much more likely to come out if they can attend more than one event in an evening.
  • Get great media coverage.
  • Garner local long-term support by bringing new visitors to your venue who’ll want to come back again and again.
  • Improve partnership working between venues in the same location.

Sounds too good to be true? Here’s the evidence… I managed the Victorian Nights Festival, which saw 12 Museums at Night events across 9 venues in North Norfolk in 2012.

  • 3,252 people attended the festival.
  • 60% of visitors were first time visitors to venues. 
  • 91% of visitors said they would definitely return to participating venues in the future.
  • £50,000 was spent in the local economy over the festival weekend.
  • 32 print and web articles with an AVE of £28,651 were produced about the festival.
  • 138 volunteers supported the festival.

Read more of Laura’s key recommendations for organising a cluster over on her blog.

Lindsey Braidley, Learning & Programmes Co-ordinator for Heritage Services at Bath & North East Somerset Council spoke at Culture24’s Museums at Night briefing session in Birmingham.

Using these slides, Lindsey shared how the Bath cluster of Museums at Night festival activity grew to encompass more venues and different themes over the last few years, and how they’ve overcome funding challenges and collaborated with different local initiatives to keep their activities fresh and interesting.

Her top tips include involving local tourism organisations in planning and promoting your joint offer, and (if you’re organising a succession of events on the same evening) attracting a large group of people to your first event by making it a dinner or a food-related experience, before setting them off across town to explore your other events.

Elaine Lees from Creativity Works in Pennine Lancashire explained how she successfully bid for funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to create a new Museums at Night cluster of activity in her area, the Festival of Wonders. She covered how she got multiple museums and libraries on board, how they promoted their events, the challenges that they overcame and their plans for the future.

Christina Grogan from Open Culture in Liverpool shared the story of the phenomenal success of Liverpool’s Museums at Night strand of programming, Light Night. She suggested tips on bringing together a range of partner organisations, joint marketing and promotion, and the value of bringing the city centre to life with animation, performances, and hundreds of late openings and special events.

If you’re interested in forming a cluster to work together on planning and promoting Museums at Night events in your area, do get in touch with us: we’re happy to help in talking through plans, and can connect you with people who have made clusters work successfully before.

The Connect10 competition returns: win an artist and funding towards your Museums at Night event

The Connect10 logo

We’re delighted to announce that the Connect10 competition is back for Museums at Night 2013: your museum or gallery could win one of ten top contemporary artists and a financial subsidy for your Museums at Night event!

In 2013 there will be a share of £35,000 available to pay for venues to work with artists to devise outstanding events.

Any cultural or heritage venue in the country can submit an event idea, forty will be shortlisted to go through to the public vote, and all shortlisted venues that don’t win an artist will be supported, through small grants, to go ahead with a Museums at Night event.

The ten artists taking part are:

  • Jake and Dinos Chapman, irreverent Turner Prize nominees whose provocative sculptures were part of the infamous Young British Artist exhibitions Brilliant! and Sensation. They recently caused controversy by drawing on watercolours believed to have been painted by Hitler.
  • Martin Creedartist and musician who won the 2001 Turner Prize for Work No. 227: the lights going on and off.
  • Mat Collishawphotographer and video innovator known for his hard-hitting images of beauty and cruelty, who has created adult zoetropes, photographed himself trying to catch fairies, and used phosphorescent paint to convey the brief lives of Victorian street children.
  • Cullinan Richardsthe sculpture and filmmaking partnership of Charlotte Cullinan and Jeanine Richards, who work with fiction, personal histories and live performance.
  • Susan ForsythLondon-based sculptor who creates large geometric works such as Wiff-Waff, an enormous gilded ping-pong table inviting visitors to play and make up their own rules.
  • Random Internationaldigital artists and sculptors whose current astounding installation Rain Room at the Barbican invites visitors to walk through a ‘wet room’ yet not get wet!
  • Gavin Turkwho created the travelling art circus House of Fairy Tales which has delighted families in unusual places ranging from literary festivals to Camp Bestival.
  • Julia Vogl, creator of social sculpture, architectural interventions and colourful public engagement projects.
  • Richard WentworthBritish sculpture and installation artist, curator and (back in the day) Damien Hirst’s teacher.
  • Julian Wildsculptor and creator of the Making the Connection communal sculpture construction project.
A colourful group of people singing and dancing on an outdoor stage

Join the fun! Susan Forsyth’s Zusammen Choir at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Art, 2008 (c) Susan Forsyth

The money:

Winning venues receive a bursary of £2000 to support their event, enabling ambitious and creative event programming. The venues who come in second place will receive a £200 bursary towards their alternative Museums at Night events, while those who come third and fourth will receive £100 each, helping everyone to be part of the festival.

How to take part:

If you’re interested in entering the Connect10 competition, which always leads to a lot of publicity and which can be a terrific audience development vehicle, your next steps are:

1) Download our simple at-a-glance Connect10 essentials guide and the detailed Connect10 information pack for venues to read through and discuss with your team. You can also download the terms and conditions for participating venues to make sure you understand what’s expected if you take part.

2) The 10 participating artists have shared statements explaining their approach to Connect10, their inspiration and how they work. Take a look and decide which artist you’re interested in bringing to your venue, and what sort of event you’d like to stage with them.

3) Once you have buy-in from everyone in your organisation, it’s time to enter your event idea. There’s a simple form for you to submit your event ideas online here: this will close at 5pm on Thursday 31 January 2013.

When filling in the form, as well as your contact details and artist selection, we’ll be asking you to outline more about your event idea.

We recommend you write out your responses to this before you go to the submission form, as you can’t save your progress and return to it: if you don’t complete the form within one browser session you will need to start a new one.

Questions will include:

  • Your reason for choosing this particular artist, and the connections you see between their work and your venue, collections or location (maximum 100 words)
  • Details of the event: what will happen, the format it will take, how it will involve audience participation, whereabouts in your venue it will take place, and any other information you want to tell us (maximum 200 words)
  • The type of audience you’re aiming to attract with this event (maximum 100 words)
  • A very basic budget outline explaining what you will spend the £2000 prize money on (maximum 100 words) – don’t forget that the artist’s fee, travel and accommodation costs will already be covered, but you’ll need to budget for the artists’ materials.

The event submission form is here: https://culture24.wufoo.eu/forms/connect10-event-submission-form-2013/

If you’d like to discuss your plans with Nick or Rosie first, we’re only a phonecall away on 01273 623279 and 01273 623336.

Thanks – and the very best of luck!

The Connect10 competition is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Sources of funding for Museums at Night events

I’ve recently been asked about the sources of funding that are available to organisations wanting to run Museums at Night events, so I thought I’d share the information in one useful article.

A stack of pound coins spelling out the word MONEY

Money! Image shared under a Creative Commons licence by Flickr user Community Friend

Grants for the Arts

Any venue or consortia of venues thinking about taking part in Museums at Night in 2013 or beyond are encouraged to consider Arts Council England’s Grants for the arts funding programme.

Grants For The Arts are for activities carried out over a set period and which engage people in England in arts activities, and help artists and arts organisations in England carry out their work.

Grants For The Arts is funded by the National Lottery and works on an open application basis. If the application is for up to £10,000, a decision will be made within 6 weeks of submitting it.

Any type of venue can apply, including museums and libraries but your proposal must be for arts activity.

The Museums at Night festival is a great forum to try something different to attract audiences and present your venue in a different light. You could collaborate with any of a wide range of artists or arts organisations to create an innovative event or events.

Last year the Arts Council produced a video focusing on two events in Museums at Night; Bompas & Parr’s jelly-making collaboration with the ss Great Britain in Bristol and Bob and Roberta Smith’s intervention at the Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne. The film illustrates two great examples of arts activity in cultural venues.

You can read the full guidelines about Grants for the Arts on the Arts Council’s website. You can get further support and discuss your ideas with the Arts Council in advance of applying – this is recommended.

Want to discuss this opportunity with your team? Download our Grants for the Arts funding advice as a PDF.

Heritage Lottery Fund

The Heritage Lottery Fund funds projects which focus on heritage, promote benefits for the public and are not mainly for private gain. Culture24 gained funding for the 2012 Museums at Night clusters in North Lincolnshire and North Norfolk through the HLF Your Heritage fund: contact your local HLF office adviser before submitting an application.

Local council / Town Trust / community grants

Ask about these in your area: many are linked to from the Cabinet Office’s Funding Central website which lists over 4,000 sources of grants, contracts and loans. They’re not specific to the arts or heritage, but you can sign up for email alerts or RSS feeds that are relevant to your interests.

Worcestershire funding alerts

If your organisation is based in the county of Worcestershire, you can register with the Worcestershire Partnership to receive news alerts about local funding sources.

In-kind funding

Not every event will be able to secure sponsorship or funding, but if you can’t secure money, why not try asking for in-kind support from local businesses? Some arts and heritage organisations have successfully partnered with local media channels such as newspapers, blogs and radio stations to promote their events and raise the profile of their work in the community. Others have received food and drink, competition prizes, and even a set of torches to enable them to run torchlight tours: it never hurts to ask!

Crowd-funding your project online

Artist Emily Speed created a very useful resource for a-n, the Artists Information Company, explaining how crowd-funding online can potentially bring in revenue for creative projects.

What would you suggest?

Have you received funding towards an events programme or a specific Museums at Night event? Please share your tips and let us know what’s worked for you in the comments below!